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sandykayak


Mar 15, 2012, 7:58 AM

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Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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I was wondering whether this topic would be worth its own sub-forum. Any support for this and/or comments from David?

As someone who loves to read about Mexico and the Mexicans, I'd like to share my latest read:

Becoming Dr. Q. My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon

Of the 17 reviews on Amazon, all are 5 star. I think I finished it in about 4 days (and I'm still working, so reading time is limited). It would make a fantastic movie.

What really got to me was the thought: How many other brilliant minds in the picking fields are untapped? (yes, I know this applies to all countries and cultures, but we're talking Mexico here). The opportunities are greater in the US, but I hope that the educational options will continue to open for Mexicans in their own country.


http://www.amazon.com/...331822351&sr=1-1


Any comments about this or other favorite books? Sometimes we only hear about them by chance. There seems to be an increase in the personal experience ones, which are my favorite genre. I choose not to read the ones about the narcowars and borderland violence. In general, I enjoy travel narratives that combine personal experience with culture/customs/history.

In the Sombrero Books thread, Rich mentioned another book I thoroughly enjoyed: Magic Made in Mexico...Live Your Dream in Mexico by Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado. The love story of a Canadian gal who fell in love with a Mexican and moved to MX. You get the whole story, their family, their business, and insight into Merida.

http://www.amazon.com/...281&sr=1-1-fkmr1

I could go on and on and on... :)
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque



cbviajero

Mar 15, 2012, 8:54 AM

Post #2 of 29 (3278 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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Here's a few:True tales from another Mexico,The readers companion to Mexico,The life and times of Mexico,First stop in the new world.
Chris


tashby


Mar 15, 2012, 8:55 AM

Post #3 of 29 (3278 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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Thanks for the tip on Becoming Dr. Q. Sounds interesting.

Back when we first moved here in 2008, I started a thread called "Your Three 'Must Read' Mexico Books", or something like that. The thread went on for four pages, and a lot of the suggestions were probably more along the lines of personal favorites read recently, still, it generated many titles. The thread can be found here:

http://www.mexconnect.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

After the thread was closed, I created a word file with just the titles and authors. If you'd like, I can pm you that list (or post it here). It doesn't include any of the commentary about the books, which is in the above linked thread, just the list of titles as the thread became impossible to browse.

Happy reading!


sandykayak


Mar 15, 2012, 9:59 AM

Post #4 of 29 (3257 views)

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Re: [tashby] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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I'd love to have your list. sandykayak at yahoo dot com

My lists (I have one with brief commentary/description and one in alpha order with just title/pub date/author) I need to add the recent Kindle only additions. I'll be happy to share...after I've added them, so PM me.

And I do remember that thread. I'll look at it again. tx for posting
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


sandykayak


Mar 15, 2012, 11:35 AM

Post #5 of 29 (3237 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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Tx Chris, I have them all.

Here's one I'd enjoy reading (I think!). I've always referred to it as musica de banda or musica norteña, but it looks as if there's another title narcocorrida. I love the musical style and rhythm...as long as I don't try to listen to the actual words. When I do, I'm horrified. One of the reviewers complains that it is glorifying the narco trade.

http://www.amazon.com/...972&sr=1-1-spell

This segues into a radio newsclip I heard. They were having a rash on stolen tubas in high schools in TX? CA? I believe they cost something like $7K and they are needed for the banda music!!

This one is really, really good..and current
Mañana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans 2011 Jorge G. CastañedaWhy are Mexicans so successful in individual sports, but deficient in team play? Why do Mexicans dislike living in skyscrapers? Why do Mexicans love to see themselves as victims, but also love victims? And why, though the Mexican people traditionally avoid conflict, is there so much violence in a country where many leaders have died by assassination? In this shrewd and fascinating book, the renowned scholar and former foreign minister Jorge Castañeda sheds much light on the puzzling paradoxes of his native country.”
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


sandykayak


Mar 15, 2012, 11:44 AM

Post #6 of 29 (3235 views)

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Oh, darn Amazon...they keep feeding my addiction!

This one looks as if it would be better to help me understand the banda music:

Musica Nortena: Mexican Migrants Creating a Nation Between Nations

Not cheap (I like it when I can get a used book for one cent (or even a buck or so higher!) plus the $3.99 shipping!);
even the Kindle version is $16+

The only review says that it would have been better if she had included customs/clothing etc. <<On the downside, the author could have (should have?) discussed some of the other aspects of the style wars, such as dance styles (quebradita vs duranguense?) and clothing styles (cholo vs vaquero?) which would have made her social analysis pack more punch. Although she's an ethnomusicologist, her knowledge of nortena culture seems extensive enough that she could enlighten us on some aspects of the culture that are not strictly musical.>>

I like that it is apparently addressed toward non-musicians.

http://www.amazon.com/...331836523&sr=1-6

We have a large migrant population in SW Miami-Dade County's agricultural area and I occasionally switch to the local Mexican radio station. But when I'm on the road going on a camping trip, I can usually find one in several parts of FL...especially when I go up toward Lake Okeechobee.
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


AlanMexicali


Mar 15, 2012, 12:16 PM

Post #7 of 29 (3225 views)

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In Reply To
"Oh, darn Amazon...they keep feeding my addiction!

This one looks as if it would be better to help me understand the banda music:

Musica Nortena: Mexican Migrants Creating a Nation Between Nations

Not cheap (I like it when I can get a used book for one cent (or even a buck or so higher!) plus the $3.99 shipping!);
even the Kindle version is $16+

The only review says that it would have been better if she had included customs/clothing etc. <<On the downside, the author could have (should have?) discussed some of the other aspects of the style wars, such as dance styles (quebradita vs duranguense?) and clothing styles (cholo vs vaquero?) which would have made her social analysis pack more punch. Although she's an ethnomusicologist, her knowledge of nortena culture seems extensive enough that she could enlighten us on some aspects of the culture that are not strictly musical.>> "

I like that it is apparently addressed toward non-musicians.

http://www.amazon.com/...331836523&sr=1-6

We have a large migrant population in SW Miami-Dade County's agricultural area and I occasionally switch to the local Mexican radio station. But when I'm on the road going on a camping trip, I can usually find one in several parts of FL...especially when I go up toward Lake Okeechobee."


Banda and Nortena music are two different animals. Nortena is much more like American country and western with the accent on accordion from the Northern states of Mexico. Banda is from Sinaloa and is drum beating, loud horns and out of key singers [my opinion] and a lot of noise and a dozen or so players usually, traditionally.

I like Sergio Vega songs:

http://www.buenamusica.com/sergio-vega/canciones

http://www.buenamusica.com/sergio-vega/biografia

El cantante mexicano norteño Sergio Vega, conocido como El Shaka, fue asesinado el sábado, 26 de junio de 2010, por varios sicarios que le dispararon 30 veces. Horas antes, el cantante había desmentido que hubiera sido víctima de un atentado, como se había rumoreado. De hecho, había comentado que a raíz de la ola de violencia sufrida por los músicos de su estilo, había reforzado su seguridad. Desde 2007 siete músicos populares mexicanos han muerto a manos de sicarios del crimen organizado. El género que manejaba el cantante, con referencias al amor, al peligro y al tráfico de drogas, es conocido como narcocorrido.


He dabbled in Narcocorrido music and recently meet an untimely end.

Also this assassination was hugely publicized as the start of this stupid deadly spree that still continues.

Asesinan a Valentín Elizalde en Reynosa


http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/espectaculos/73091.html



(This post was edited by AlanMexicali on Mar 15, 2012, 12:57 PM)


sandykayak


Mar 15, 2012, 1:48 PM

Post #8 of 29 (3190 views)

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Re: [AlanMexicali] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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gracias, Alan.....now I get an education in this music that can have dangerous repercussions. kinda scary
I've copied your message and will check out the links (I was raised in Venezuela; fluent in Spanish, but not with many Mexicanisms.

I loved this book: Ask a Mexican by Gustavo Arellano...from his newspaper columns. Hysterically funny and very irreverent. (and available for one cent plus $3.99 shipping! Kindle price is high $16+ I just ordered another one of his and he has one coming out in April.

http://www.amazon.com/...331844339&sr=1-9
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


AlanMexicali


Mar 15, 2012, 2:01 PM

Post #9 of 29 (3188 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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In Reply To
"gracias, Alan.....now I get an education in this music that can have dangerous repercussions. kinda scary
I've copied your message and will check out the links (I was raised in Venezuela; fluent in Spanish, but not with many Mexicanisms.

I loved this book: Ask a Mexican by Gustavo Arellano...from his newspaper columns. Hysterically funny and very irreverent. (and available for one cent plus $3.99 shipping! Kindle price is high $16+ I just ordered another one of his and he has one coming out in April.

http://www.amazon.com/...331844339&sr=1-9 "



You are welcome. This is the guy who unknowingly started it. The songs telling his story and his capture many years ago, the first Narcocorrido music.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_Caro_Quintero




(This post was edited by AlanMexicali on Mar 15, 2012, 2:13 PM)


DavidMcL


Mar 15, 2012, 4:08 PM

Post #10 of 29 (3154 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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I was wondering whether this topic would be worth its own sub-forum. Any support for this and/or comments from David?


Hola SandyK;

Interesting suggestion. I think the current method of the occasional thread dedicated to "good books" is the better way to go. A forum dedicated just to books is too narrow a focus.

But enjoy this thread!

David
David McL
WebJefe


AlanMexicali


Mar 15, 2012, 4:21 PM

Post #11 of 29 (3153 views)

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I read a detailed book written in the 1850's titled: "The Conquest of Mexico, The Conquest of Peru" by W. H. Prescott that I would recommend.


tashby


Mar 15, 2012, 4:58 PM

Post #12 of 29 (3141 views)

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Quote
A forum dedicated just to books is too narrow a focus.


I agree. Then again a forum on "Books, Movies, Music and.....?" might be justifiable. (I actually don't imagine it would be either, but thought I'd offer it up. I understand the need to limit the number of forums, and that there's nothing worse than one that sits there...............inactive.)


sparks


Mar 15, 2012, 4:59 PM

Post #13 of 29 (3141 views)

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Re: [sandykayak] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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>>>> understand the banda music

Anything that's hard to listen to is hard to understand

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


mazbook1


Mar 15, 2012, 6:09 PM

Post #14 of 29 (3121 views)

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Re: [sparks] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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Here in Sinaloa we understand Banda, because here is where it all started. Banda was the fusion of the German (we had lots of German immigrants in the early 1800s) Omm-Pah bands and Mexican music. The most notable thing about it is the the musical rhythm is carried by the tuba, rather than the bass viol, since no stringed instruments are in a Banda group. I agree completely that there are far, far too many very poor amateur (and semi-professional!) Banda groups that are really, really bad…or worse! There are at least 3 (maybe 4) that practice within 2 blocks (very short blocks) of my house! But the really good Banda groups are outstanding. Real professional, often very progressive groups that make good music. They can be a real pleasure to just listen to or dance to. ¡VIVA BANDA!

Norteño music is something completely different. To my ear it sounds like a variation of what we used to call ranchera in New México. For me, I get a lot of listening pleasure from Los Tigres del Norte, Los Tucanes de Tijuana and other popular (and very professional) norteño groups.

(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Mar 15, 2012, 6:37 PM)


AlanMexicali


Mar 15, 2012, 6:16 PM

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I agree that a polished Banda group is pleasant to listen to. In San Luis Potosi where Banda groups are very popular I have been indoctrinated into Banda music but must admit from my experiences up until we were at a salon a few years ago and I listened to my first good Banda group thought they were all just making noise. LOL


mazbook1


Mar 15, 2012, 8:46 PM

Post #16 of 29 (3088 views)

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Re: [AlanMexicali] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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Alan, off the subject, but you don't take PMs, since you use Mexicali as part of your handle, does that mean you're a cachanilla, or have I been mislead about the meaning of that word?


AlanMexicali


Mar 15, 2012, 8:55 PM

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In Reply To
"Alan, off the subject, but you don't take PMs, since you use Mexicali as part of your handle, does that mean you're a cachanilla, or have I been mislead about the meaning of that word?"

Cachanilla, no, married to one, now my ex-wife, yes. My present wife in a Potosina.



mazbook1


Mar 15, 2012, 9:06 PM

Post #18 of 29 (3084 views)

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Thanks, Alan.


YucaLandia


Mar 16, 2012, 6:33 AM

Post #19 of 29 (3050 views)

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Lluvia de Oro, Victor Victor Villaseñor
Tells the stories of 150 years of 4 Mexican families experiences on both sides of the Border.

-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


rockydog85251

Mar 16, 2012, 8:44 AM

Post #20 of 29 (3022 views)

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I too love all Villasenor's books & have most of them now.

Another to check out is: Luis Alberto Urrea...
The Devil's Highway is especially enlightening about the desperation to go to "el otro lado"
The Humiingbird's Daughter is quite an interesting story based on a real person

Elena Poniatowska's Massacre in Mexico is a revealing account of one of the darkest events in our history
Willie


richmx2


Mar 16, 2012, 12:58 PM

Post #21 of 29 (2982 views)

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Re: [rockydog85251] Books on and about Mexico and Mexicans

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And, if you really, really want to go back a ways, Thomas Gage wrote the first English book on living in Mexico in 1648, with a long florid title (usually listed in reprints as "Travels in the New World"). Gage was a scoundrel of the first order... a English Catholic priest educated in Spain who jumped ship in Mexico on his way to the missions in the Philippines, and although a good Latin teacher, spent most of his time fleecing the locals (no, he didn't sell time-shares, but only because he didn't think of it!).

Back in England, he defected to the Puritans, ratted out his fellow Catholics (including his own brother, who was drawn and quartered) and wrote his Mexican travel book as a part of a campaign to get himself a job as Cromwell's adviser on Spanish-American affairs. He was trying to get Cromwell to attack Guatemala (mostly for the chocolate), but had to settle for the British seizure of Jamaica.

But, what a fun read about our shady forefathers!


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


Grieger-Lods

Mar 17, 2012, 8:17 PM

Post #22 of 29 (2874 views)

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I love to read and we brought a large library here when we moved to Puebla in 2010. Two of my favorites (books I have read more than once) are: Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr and
God and Mr. Gomez by Jack Smith.


sandykayak


Mar 19, 2012, 7:15 AM

Post #23 of 29 (2778 views)

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I have both of those...Everyone who even thinks of building in Mexico should read God & Mr. Gomez. As they say, "Buyer beware." or, "stuff happens." You get a lot of chuckles.

I haven't read Stones for Ibarra because I also have the VHS version and saw that...When I retire, I'll have more time!!

I put my list in alpha by author last week; here are other titles I have by the same author:'

Doerr, Harriet Consider This, Señora 1993
Doerr, Harriet Stones of Ibarra 1978/1984
Doerr, Harriet Tiger in the Grass (The)
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


YucaLandia


Mar 19, 2012, 7:24 AM

Post #24 of 29 (2777 views)

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Has "Mexico What Everyone Needs to Know" by Roderic Al Camp been listed here yet?
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


sandykayak


Mar 19, 2012, 8:40 AM

Post #25 of 29 (2758 views)

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Hadn't heard of that one and the Q & A format looks pretty good. There are 2 reviews here:

http://www.amazon.com/Mexico-What-Everyone-Needs-Know/dp/0199773874/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332171239&sr=1-1


This one came up along the bottom. Interesting.

http://www.amazon.com/Devoted-Death-Santa-Muerte-Skeleton/dp/0199764654/ref=pd_sim_b_4
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque
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